In his book – The psychology of persuasion – Cialdini writes about six principles. Later, he added a seventh to that list.
We will describe these principles and illustrate how you can apply them in your proposal. It’s not necessary to incorporate all principles into your proposal. It’s best to integrate them naturally. Avoid creating an forced story. The Winning Proposal structure always includes multiple persuasion principles into a proposal. Matching the product or service and the market of the customer.
Cialdini's Principles of Persuasion
The customer feels obligated to reciprocate when you make efforts on their behalf. This could be thorough preparation, an inventory, a quick wins analysis, or a sample delivery. Cialdini deems this the most powerful persuasion principle. Use it well for your proposals. Use it well for your proposals.
People like consistency, rather than being fickle, especially in a business setting. Once we have made a stance about something, we hold on to it. You can use this by employing yes-set questions. This establishes the customer’s value judgment, making them less likely to retract.
When inexperienced, people will look for examples and use other people as guidance for when they want to purchase a product or service. That way, people learn from their experience which will build trust. This is also the case with potential customers.
People are more inclined to buy from those they find likable. This is known as the ‘likability factor’. Employ techniques such as giving compliments and highlighting similarities will help you get the likeability factor.
People will place their trust in individuals with expertise in their field. Demonstrating expertise and experience through products like whitepapers, blogs, and reports attributes knowledge and skill to you. It will help you to build authority.
When something is limited or temporarily available, the desire to obtain it increases. We see this being used all the time. Booking.cm does this for example by using phrases as ‘Only 2 rooms left at this price’.
The Seventh principle
People prefer associating with groups of people who are like themselves. If the seller belongs to a specific network, trust is established, and the chances of orders are more likely.
To illustrate how these principles can be integrated into your proposal, we will explain how it is done in the Winning Proposal: